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Graceland updates visitor experience with iBeacon-enabled iPad tour

Graceland recently unveiled a new multimedia iPad tour using iBeacon technology to enhance the experience for guests touring the former home of Elvis Presley. 

Graceland, in Memphis, TN, claims to be one of the first historic homes in the United States to offer an interactive iPad tour that provides a fully immersive experience for guests. The tour, which is narrated by John Stamos, became available on August 9 as part of a series of special events for the annual Elvis Week that takes place at Graceland. 

?Elvis was known to be an early adopter of new technology ? actually the very first adopter of many new technologies that he brought to Graceland, so it makes sense that we would continue that legacy with the latest technology for our tour experience,? said Kevin Kern, director of public relations at Elvis Presley Enterprises. 

?The iPad experience and iBeacon technology allows us to give each guest a much richer, deeper experience, by telling Elvis? story using video and images and added content, so as each guest moves through the home and grounds, she/he also takes a journey through Elvis? life,? he said. 

?The iBeacon technology adds an entirely new dimension by triggering home movie footage and rare photos taken at the very spot where the visitor is standing.  The iPad also allows for an enriched visual tour experience, giving visitors the ability to see each room with 360-degree perspectives and features ?hot spots,? which when tapped, offer in-depth details on specific artifacts in many of the rooms.?

Youth tour
Those visiting Graceland can use the iPads to enhance the experience through a multimedia tour of the music landmark. 

Users will be able to explore content hotspots which, when activated, enable them to dive deeper into the story of Mr. Presley?s life through archival audio, video and photo elements. 

Guests can also ?favorite? selected content on the tour to review later and share. 

The iPad experience also includes Graceland?s first-ever Youth Tour, with interactive activities designed to make the tour more fun and interesting for younger visitors. 

Elvis Week
The iPad tour launched along with a new chance to get a peek inside the Graceland Archives Studio on Aug. 9 to coincide with the annual Elvis Week celebration which takes place Aug. 8-17. 

They are the first additions to the tour at Graceland in 20 years. 

Other activities during Elvis Week will include the first-ever Auction at Graceland. 

The new tour additions are part of an effort by the Presley family, Elvis Presley Enterprises and the new owners of the Graceland operation to improve the Graceland attraction in order to ensure its future success. These efforts will also include a new hotel

Prior to the tour, each guest at Graceland taking the tour will see a brief tutorial video with instructions on how to use the iPad interface. 

?They?ll learn how to advance through rooms on the tour and ?like? specific content, which they can save and review at the end of the tour experience,? Mr.Kern said.  ?The audio narration is triggered as guests move from room to room throughout the tour. 

?Icons featuring ?hot spots? and secondary content will appear on the screen throughout the tour, and guests can choose how much extra content they want to watch or save for viewing later on,? he said. 

?But the magic of the iBeacon technology is that it?s seamless for the visitors, who will generally be unaware of how the content is triggered.  They?ll just see a new icon on their screen when they are in close proximity to a particular beacon, and they can choose to tap on that icon if they wish to explore that content.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York